“…Even for one not on any kind of quest, spiritual or otherwise, it is a viscerally intense and physical experience… I felt shaky when I got up, but also curiously serene. In the other five sessions I had, the effects were different, but no less intense”
“…Misgivings abandoned, I leave Lanzarote carrying what I arrived with, including the chocolate raisins. But I bring something back that I can honestly say is up there as my personal moon-walk. I’ve discovered something amazing, and it’s right under my nose.”
“The sense of calm is profound. It is, for want of a less hippy word, blissful… Where meditation failed, transformational breathing succeeded. It’s the pill I wish I’d had all along.”
“The ‘Breath Guru’ Alan Dolan wants us to breathe properly: altering the breath to a pattern where the inhale is three times longer than the exhale with no pause between the two parts. ‘Breathing this way puts your whole brain into recalibration mode. In just one session you can feel yourself letting go of emotions you’ve held in, reducing stress and anxiety and raising energy.’ Dolan holds classes in London and at retreats in Lanzarote.
“Alan Dolan, also known as “the breath guru” in North London, is one of the 27 qualified breath facilitators in Britain, although there are 2,000 worldwide. Dolan claims his services have helped patients overcome sleep disorders, weight issues, low energy, and even cancer, Metro U.K. reports. The breath guru was so enthralled by Transformational Breath that he gave up a high-flying job in the aerospace industry to teach it to the world.
“It allows people to access the full potential of their breathing system for better physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing,” he told the U.K. paper.”
“So, what’s it all about? Well, it’s a bit like the breathing used in meditation that calms your body down and reduces blood pressure.
The technique centres around inhaling and exhaling at certain rates (roughly each inhalation should be three times longer than exhalation). You’ll need to breathe in for three seconds and out for one.
This allows more oxygen and ‘energy’ to enter your body and allows you to exhale any ’emotional energy’ that’s stored up in your body, according to Alan Dolan, aka ‘the breath guru’…
Kate Hudson and James Bond star Naomie Harris are said to be fans of the technique, which has worked it’s way across the pond to North London.”
“…The biggest breathing breakthrough for me was experiencing conscious breathing with Alan Dolan. I found myself taking huge, deep, belly breaths for nearly an hour to a peculiar rhythm, eyes closed, propped up with a stack of cushions. I slid into a meditative, almost ecstatic state. ‘When you breathe like this, you get high,’ he says. ‘I explain it as connecting to the less tangible aspects of our being.’ It certainly proved to me that breath is the connection between the external and internal, bringing that inner peace we all crave…”
“I’m not a spiritual person but I’ve just seen a vision of a bat. Not only that but my body is shaking with a force I don’t quite understand, my fingers are tingling and an old operation scar is aching like crazy. And I have just had a huge outpouring of ‘emotional trauma’ – basically, I cried like a baby and have no idea why.”
“But I am not losing my marbles. I’m at a three-day retreat learning to harness the power of breath for better health and wellbeing.”
“…Breathing exercises, on the other hand, have been shown in recent studies to lower blood pressure and improve hand-eye co-ordination… Alan Dolan believes they can also save your career – and even your marriage. Dolan conducts retreats on the Canary Islands, where, in addition to yoga, he uses stretches, breath work, and music to help clients reset respiration. ‘I’ve ‘breathed’ athletes, actresses who need help steadying nerves, and couples working on a relationship,’ Dolan says…”
“‘You might feel like an emotion is coming up here and immediately get a sense of what it related to in your past, or perhaps no information at all. It doesn’t matter…’ he reassures me. ‘It’s there, therefore it’s leaving, and all you’ve got to do is breathe.’ It sounds comforting, and it is. Turns out that ‘just breathing’ through discomfort, anxiety, and even the strange, unexpected tears that are tickling the back of my eyelids now, does help difficult feelings to pass through.”
“…By my third day I had grown fond of the quiet, the luxury of the villa and eating veggie cuisine. Dennis gave me an impromptu shoulder and neck massage by the pool and it hurt. I heard Alan saying: “Breathe into the discomfort”. I did, and when it was over I opened my eyes and that was the tipping point. All at once, I had become dismantled and I simply fell in love. But with what? Alan? Dennis? The view? Or was it with life itself? I inhaled deeply as if to breathe in the moment hoping, as Alan promised, that it would never fade….”
“…I book a place on a Lanzarote retreat run by breathing expert Alan Dolan, which takes place at a beautiful hillside villa, just minutes from the sea. He starts by explaining that hesitant or shallow ‘anxiety’ breathing keeps stress trapped in the body… I leave the two-hour session feeling unbelievably relaxed.”
“As the days go by, and as we combine sessions with hillside walks and trips to the nearby beach, we all feel lighter and less stressed. And I’m still feeling the benefits.”